We Now Feel Like We Own Brick House 319

On Sunday, it will be three weeks since Bill officially left Brick House 319. Since then, he did stop by the house twice. The first time, he stopped by to pick up a couple of rolls of silver dollars (circa early 1900s) found the very last day he was on the property. After all of the hoard digging for nine entire months, literally, on the last day of looking through the remaining outside bins clustered around the bunker, something of value was found. John had hired Scott, a day worker, to help with the final move to the storage unit in the U-Haul truck. Scott had worked for John on four previous occasions. Scott picked up one of the bins and saw something silver. He reached in and discovered large coins. He said to Bill, “What about this?” Bill said, “I don’t want it, throw it out.” Scott said, “There are coins in here.” Bill then took a look. (Lucky for Bill that Scott was completely trustworthy.)

Technically, we owned the contents on the property at that point. But they were Bill’s coins and John set them in the house for Bill to pick up the following day. And Bill did indeed pick them up. I have no idea if they were circulated or uncirculated coins. They weren’t mine so I never looked at them.

Bill stopped by a second time this past Sunday. Bill’s friend took some of Bill’s remaining items in his van and drove them over to the storage unit. There is now absolutely nothing left at the house that belongs to Bill.

The backyard is spacious and raked clean. The house is gutted and we are beyond ready for the renovation phase.

I will finish writing about the hoarding phase in the next three posts. Finally, I can now begin writing about the renovation phase on a day-to-day basis. Also, unlike the hoard haul-out, I will be very much involved in the renovation, decorating, landscaping, and next year’s garden.

I was chatting on the phone with someone today about the house and the last nine months and it dawned on me that Brick House 319 is really our house. Even though we have owned it since November, it didn’t really feel like it belonged to us because of all of Bill’s belongings in literally every inch of the house. Now that it’s all gone, and Bill is no longer at the house, it has finally sunk in that we own it.

The one mistake I will never make again is selling my house without having another house to buy and move into. The worst part of this entire experience since the day we sold our house in Princeton is renting.

Once we move into Brick House 319, it will be a cold day in hell before I ever rent again.


This was our 1054 square foot house in Princeton. It was small, but it was ours. I took this photo a few months before we sold it to Princeton University. John was building the side deck on the house at the kitchen entrance. John completely renovated the house inside and out. He hand-nailed each cedar shake on the roof, put cedar siding up and stained it, replaced all of the windows, bumped out the front entrance, and inside, he knocked down a wall, and vaulted the ceiling creating a large living room. He also put a new roof on the detached garage. There were many other things we did to the house but that’s for another post.

My grandfather built the house during the depression in 1928. My father grew up in it and we bought it from him.

Princeton University bulldozed the house in January.


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